Don't be scared: Outback acts worth the risk

SAKE, Adelyn, T.O.W.
at the Outback Lodge
Thursday, January 29

A few days ago, just around the corner from my house in front of the Outback Lodge, a 15-year old girl stabbed two women. In another matter, the police recently detained a guy wanted for a shooting in the alley behind my house two years ago. My neighbor goes to court in two weeks for allegedly possessing cocaine with the intent to sell.

Ironically, ever since he moved on the block two years ago, there has been a decrease in the number of dealers selling crack on the street and in the alley. Between his .45 caliber and his 120-pound Rotweiller named Bear, we have all the crime deterrent we need. My wife and child will miss him.

Despite the drama, I feel safe. Go figure. I was at the Outback Lodge the night before the most recent stabbing. There was hard rock happening upstairs. I really had no idea what to expect from the three bands playing. I just knew I was in the mood for something hardcore, something that spoke to my current reality.

The first band was SAKE, a wake-up call from the depths of hard-rock hell. They weren't welcoming, but I sure couldn't stop watching or listening. There was a definite formula: melodic vocals that built into raging scream metal. They were tight from note A to note Z. If there's a way to express the angst, no one could do it better than SAKE.

The next band was a crew from Harrisonburg called Adelyn. Pretty-boy-emo-hiphop-hard-rock describes them in six words or less. Adelyn has much potential. With a little vocal coaching, the singer could be the middle ground between Justin Timberlake and the guy who sings for Linkin Park.

Needless to say, the ladies loved Adelyn. Finally T.O.W. took the stage. I left before they finished because it was late, but from what I saw they're a very talented group of musicians. They write the kinds of songs that appeal to musicians of their genre. Intricate, brooding guitars and synths back up a vocalist whose presence and voice magnify his sub-5'6" frame.

My only complaint is they lack a bass element sufficient to carry the music. The tones just weren't fat enough to fill the Outback. What I like about all three bands is that they aren't afraid to take chances. In this day and age, you can't be afraid. If you think about the stabbings and drugs, then you'll miss the music.

And trust me, there's music out there you don't want to miss.